What is EMF sensitivity? How does this differ from EMF hypersensitivity?
Since the prefix hyper- means extreme or excessive, it's an indication of a greater degree. Not a black and white thing, but more of a sliding scale.
Really the difference between EMF hypersensitivity and EMF sensitivity is in the level of impact as well as the timing of the effects. Because we're all human, with the same biology more or less and same cellular structures, EMF's are definitely affecting us all. It just isn't necessarily to a level that is consciously notable for many.
In the video (and transcript) below, Building Biologist Oram Miller discusses his experience in the field, symptoms of EMF sensitivity, as well as how this can be related to chemical sensitivities.
Oram Miller on EMF Sensitivity
Oram: My name is Oram Miller. I'm a certified building biology environmental consultant, BBEC, based in Los Angeles, California, working with clients throughout Southern California and nationwide. I am trained and have experience in the full range of building biology work, which is looking at all the sources of toxicity in the home, including out gassing from building materials, mold, chemical out-gassing, as I mentioned, natural gas, lead, asbestos, radon, and electromagnetic fields, which is what I focus on now.
Speaker 2: And, when you say you work nationwide, you could do that by telephone, I guess. How does that work?
Oram: Yes. About 15 to 20% of my clients are people who I've never actually met face to face because they live outside of the state of California or outside of Southern California and I work with them over the phone and through Skype and email over multiple consultations and they become my eyes and ears. They get the meters and instruments that I recommend to them to take readings under my supervision and then I formulate a mitigation plan for the EMF's that we find that they can take care of as well as bringing in a trade's person when necessary, an electrician or a plumber. And this is assuming that they don't have building biologist in their local area who I can...
Speaker 2: Which many people don't at this point.
Oram: Well, yes, but the number's growing fortunately, but there are many people who call me who don't have a building biologist near by. That's true. Just want to mention that the opinions I give are mine and don't represent the official position of the building biology profession. Those symptoms can include a whole range of different things that happen to people. Headaches, chronic fatigue, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, memory loss, numbness and tingling, ringing in the ears. These are all the classic symptoms of electrical hypersensitivity or sensitivity to some of the EMF's.
Speaker 2: So, those things can be caused by a lot of things. How do I know that I've got an EMF problem?
Oram: That's a good question. The answer is trial and error. In other words, noticing that when you're in the presence of some of these fields or devices that are known to produce these fields, you feel worse and then when you move away from them, you feel better.
Speaker 2: So, I will have an instant feeling or relatively quickly when I'm exposed?
Oram: Well, that's also a good question. Most people who are electrically hypersensitive do notice that these symptoms within minutes or even quicker than that. Others, it takes time for the symptoms to develop. Honestly, there are many people out there who don't know that they're sensitive to these fields and mold and chemical, or sensitivity to chemicals in a home, whether it's cleaning supplies or paint or any other sources of out gassing, can also have these same symptoms. So, there is some cross sensitivity to them. We just call it environmental sensitivity and many of the people that we work with who are electrically hypersensitive or EHS, are also multiple chemically sensitive, MCS. There's a lot of cross sensitivity and there are many people in the population who have various nondescript chronic ailments that are not debilitating. They can still function, but they're there in the background that are from these devices. Cell phones, these tablets, smart meters, electric fields and magnetic fields in the home, that go undetected and they don't make this link, although they are seeing this link in other countries, the doctors are, but not here. So, these people don't know that they have that as a source and their doctors don't know because nobody really talks about it here in this country.
Speaker 2: Right. So, I might want to eliminate some chemical issues before I really zero in on the EMF to make sure, like you say, there's no fresh paint or some kind of cleaning solvent or something going on?
Oram: Right. Now, the people who do come to us, who find us, have researched this because there is information on the internet about these sensitivities, both electrically and chemically induced. The thing is, these people just tackle all of it at once and, if they go to the websites for the building biologists, the website for our profession is hbelc.org and my website is createhealthyhomes.com, then you can read about these symptoms and what we do about them, what we identify in homes and how we mitigate that and see and read about the experiences of other people who have these sensitivities who have had one of us come and do an evaluation or they've implemented these recommendations on their own and they've noticed improvement.
Speaker 2: And if I'm able to say, "Oh my gosh. My wifi router might be hurting me.", and I shut it off, how soon would I see some improvement or notice that that's helping?
Oram: Many people who are electrically hypersensitive do notice an improvement within the first few minutes. For some, the ill effect that it creates lingers and they may not notice improvement until the next day. It just depends on how sensitive they are.
Speaker 2: So, give it day or two, clean up some things, give it a day or two, and see how you feel before you're sure?
Oram: Well, here's another way of looking at it. What I say to my clients is, we as building biologists cannot guarantee to any particular client that the work that we do, in identifying and mitigating the elevated levels of electromagnetic fields that we find, will ameliorate or eliminate your symptoms. We can't make that claim because there could be a number of factors that cause the symptoms that the person has. What I have realized over the years, that I can safely say to a client is the following. To the degree that their symptoms are due to the elevated levels of electromagnetic field that we find, and to the degree that the person can follow through on the recommendations that my profession teaches us to recommend to people to reduce and eliminate these fields. That is the degree to which they can expect improvement.
I hope you've found that helpful in understanding a bit more about EMF sensitivity and what you can do about it. You'll find a wealth of information on Oram's website as for what you can do to have a healthy home both as this relates to EMF's and other environmental factors.
There's a whole lot you can do as far as protecting yourself from harmful environmental factors. You should absolutely be taking these steps...
AND, what if we could use EMF's in a way that actually supported our biology? One of the best ways to help protect your home by providing helpful, active and coherent fields is with Blushield technology. Blushield is the only "EMF Protection" on the market the works in this way.